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Wet weather forces closures in the Flathead National Forest

Graves Bay 3.jpg
Posted at 9:59 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 11:59:12-04

KALISPELL – Heavy rainfall this week is forcing some road and trail closures in the Flathead National Forest.

Warming temperatures, late spring snowmelt, and heavy rainfall are contributing to increased water levels in rivers and lakes, and saturated soils, especially on roads and trails. Forest officials caution that downed trees, blocked roads and trails, wet and muddy conditions, and high and fast-moving water may be encountered.

A rockslide and unstable slump area has caused the Forest Service to close the West-Side Hungry Horse Reservoir Road (FS Road 895), between Mazie Creek Road #5326 and Graves Creek Road #897 for public safety.

The closure is located along the north shore of Graves Bay, between mile markers 29.7 and 33.4. The closure is in effect until Aug 30, 2022, but will be lifted sooner if conditions allow. Mazie Creek Road #5326 is planned to open as scheduled on July 1, 2022.

Graves Creek Road #897, Graves Creek Campground, and Handkerchief Lake Campground remain open but must be accessed by using the East-Side Hungry Horse Reservoir Road and driving around the reservoir.

In addition, the Blankenship Bridge area closure is being extended until the water recedes, and an assessment of the area can be done.

“We encourage all forest users to contact a local forest service office to obtain current information about road and trail conditions, access, and ideas for alternate travel routes,” Flathead National Forest spokesperson Tami Mackenzie said. “Recreationists on or near rivers and streams should use extreme caution as water levels may fluctuate quickly.”

Road damage is being discovered as access increases across the forest and crews have been surveying the forest to identify these situations and respond accordingly.

“We will continue to monitor across the forest, and we anticipate additional damage and challenges as the heavy precipitation and high run-off occurs,” Mackenzie said. “f you have information about road damage or other situations, please contact a local forest service office.”

For information on temporary road restrictions, campgrounds, and spring access on the Flathead National Forest, please contact the respective ranger district and watch our Forest webpage at